Final youth dialogue from sexuality exhibition: working together to stop school violence
Ha Noi, 29 April 2014 – More than 150 students and pupils of different lower secondary schools came to a dialogue last Tuesday to exchange their thoughts and experiences with school-related violence, particularly on the issues and impacts of bullying in their everyday and school life.
Students also exchanged ideas on what they can do to contribute to stopping school-related violence and build a violence-free school environment. The event was organized and supported by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the Viet Nam Museum of Ethnology, UNESCO, UNICEF and Plan International in Viet Nam.
The dialogue was the final interactive section from the series of "Windows of Love Offline" in-depth discussions for young people on gender and healthy sexuality, within the framework of the exhibition "As We Grow Up", which concluded at the end of April 2014 after 6 months of display. Representatives from the main organizing institutions, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the Viet Nam Museum of Ethnology, the United Nations in Viet Nam with UNESCO as leading agency, attended the event.
A study conducted by Plan in Viet Nam held at a number of schools in the city of Ha Noi in 2011 revealed that 40% of pupils have been bullied, 30.8% had carried out acts of bullying and 78% other students witnessed friends being bullied.
As it has been highlighted by Ms. Katherine Muller-Marin, UNESCO Representative in Viet Nam, in her heart-felt talk with the youth, "the roots of bullying are most of the time prejudice and discrimination of those who are different. Students should be knowledgeable to understand different forms of violence (especially psychological and mental violence) to be able to say 'no' to violence."
At the event, participants enjoyed watching a video clip on bullying, made by students from Phan Dinh Giot Lower Secondary School and openly exchanged their views and raised questions with psychologist Nguyen Thi Mui, psychologist Do Thi Le Hang and other young people in the panel. A lively performance by Trung Hoa-Nhan Chinh students on the visit and witnessing of a bullying incident by Ngoc Hoang (The Jade Emperor) to one school in Viet Nam brought a lot of laughs from the audience. This play was based on the famous "Three kitchen gods to heaven" which has been traditionally shown only during the New Year to review critical development challenges in the country. Students also had the chance to participate on a quiz on bullying, testing their understanding and knowledge on these issues.
At the end of the interactive session, certificates were awarded to the student volunteers who participated in the organization of the interactive activities at the exhibition. Young people have also been invited to send their message to the United Nations Global Survey for a Better World, MY World, which is contributing to building the post-2015 agenda after the Millennium Development Goals.
As declared at the event, stopping school-related violence is everyone's job and requires the commitment and participation of young people. As members of their communities, students will be the ones who decide how they want their school to be in the future.
After six months, the exhibition "As We Grow Up" recorded almost 20,000 visitors, half of which were within the target age of 12-24 years old. In total, 800 young people participated in the various in-depth, monthly discussions organized as side events of the exhibition. As a result, "As We Grow Up" has been very well-regarded as a ground-breaking exhibition on gender and healthy sexuality targeting youth in Viet Nam.
Read other success stories from the exhibition here.
For further information, please contact:
Ms. Vu Nguyet Minh
Education Programme Officer
UNESCO in Viet Nam
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